I started this Elmo Cake by making two 17" X 11" X 1&1/2" sheet cakes and a 6" round chocolate cake for the head.(I used a 6"Pyrex bowl that worked very well.) I made them the day before to make handling easier. I frosted between the layers with one box of instant vanilla pudding made with 1.75 cups of whipping cream for a thicker, tastier frosting between the layers while leaving the cake tops clear.
I then drew Elmo on wax paper and held it against the cake. Using a sharpened knife, I cut through the wax paper pattern to define the image. I then cut away the cake between Elmo's limbs and placed his head at the top of the outlined body head. I was able to define his fingers by indenting the cake with the knife. Carefully cutting inside the chocolate head to define his mouth (using a chocolate cake prevented the addition of color on top of the head while cutting the mouth out added dimension). I cut two rounds for the eyes using white fluffy frosting to frost them then added inverted chocolate chips to the eye center to get the iris defined.
The nose was made using marzipan dyed with red and yellow food coloring to get the orange color. The eyes were set in scooped out hollows in the head to prevent them from falling out (I used a 3" round melon scooper.) I then colored the white fluffy frosting with red food coloring (I used 3 small containers of the dye) to get the desired color. Adding coconut to the frosting, I was able to get the desired "hair like" look I wanted.
I then carefully frosted the cake and finished it off by using a toothpick to make the defining lines in the digits of each and every finger.